No family wants to be placed in a difficult position of choosing hospice care for their loved ones. But when the doctors say that “there is nothing more we can do” you have no choice. The patient has to leave the hospital and get hospice care instead.
Many people don’t fully understand the difference between hospice and hospital. There is a kind of sickness that is curable and the kind that is incurable. The one that’s curable is treated in a hospital and the patient is given curative care for it. On the other hand, the sickness that is incurable is treated in hospice by providing the patient with palliative care.
If a patient is suffering from pneumonia, it’s a curable sickness. The doctors in the hospital will treat it with antibiotics and fluids. The patient will be recommended to get enough bed rest.
The patient in the hospital has the right to receive high-quality and safe care. The patient and the doctor have clear communication about the condition and the treatment options available.
The patient also has the right with their medical team for developing a health plan that meets their healthcare needs the best. The primary focus of hospitalization is to sustain the life of the patient. Anyone with a medical condition can get hospitalized.
Hospice care is another name for curative care that is designed to fight the sickness of the patient. Whether the disease is curable or not, the doctors and physicians design a health care plan to treat the symptoms of the condition and promote the patient’s health.
Hospice is focused on the end of life care of the patient. The goal of the care is usually to make the medical and the emotional pain of dying comfortable and peaceful for the patient. Along with the patient, their family is provided with psychological and spiritual care. Hospice care can be provided in the patient’s home, a nursing home, a specialized hospice setting or a hospital.
There are limitations to receiving hospice care. A patient who has 6 months or less time to live is eligible in hospice care.
Caregivers in Hospital and Hospice Care
A key difference in hospital and hospice care is the primary caregiver. In hospice care, one of the family members or friends are the primary caregivers. In a hospital setting, the doctors, nurses, and health care professional provide care. They are available to address the physiological as well as spiritual needs of the patient.
Cost of Care Hospital and Hospice Care
Your private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare usually pay for hospice as well as hospital care. However, hospice care is less expensive as compared to hospitalization. That’s because the focus is only care, not treating the underlying disease. Additionally, the patient’s family acts as their caregiver. Therefore, a member from the medical staff does not have to be available 24 hours with the patient.
How Is Hospice Care Different?
A patient receives physical comfort and compassion during the 6 months of life they have left. One is free to opt hospice care the moment they feel the undergoing treatment for the disease is getting cured. A patient can also decide not to undergo further treatment regardless of the improvement in their disease. Hospice care can begin anytime the patient wants, provided if they are eligible.
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Despite the benefit of the care, many people tend to delay and even refuse hospice care because they believe it will shorten their life or opting for hospice care means giving up on life. However, neither is true. Hospice care does not cause a patient to die soon. In fact, many patients who receive hospice care soon show signs of improvements. Some are able to outlive 6 months and some even choose to receive the curative treatment again. The earlier they start receiving hospice care, the more beneficial it will be for the patient as well as their family.
When a patient admits to hospice care, they get complete support of medical professionals such as social workers, hospice aid, nurses, doctors, physicians, volunteers, chaplain, and even bereavement support. The family is given support through this difficult time as well. Such care is not available in a hospital, one has to receive counseling separately to cope up with the grief.